Old Town Christian Fellowship
2 Peter 1:1-11
You Need Not Stumble
  • When Death Was Arrested
  • Sweetly Broken
  • Golden City
  • 2 Peter 1:1-11

    Good morning church! Great to be back with you this morning. We were actually here last Sunday, but we were able to sit with you and receive and that is always a blessing. I’m very thankful for the men we have in this church that are faithful teachers of the Word.
    Nicole mentioned a fast the week before Resurrection Sunday. I just wanted to remind you of a couple things regarding fasting. First, it was a common practice of the people of God through all generations to spend time fasting and feasting. In Matthew 17 there is a story about a boy that was possessed by a demon that was brought to the disciples of Jesus, but they were unable to help. The father then went to Jesus Himself, and Jesus cast it out. Later the Disciples then went to Jesus and asked why they were unable to do it themselves.
    This was His response...
    Matthew 17:20–21 NKJV
    20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
    So, there is something different between just praying and praying and fasting and it appears to be more than just hunger.
    Earlier in the Gospel of Matthew when Jesus gave the what is known as the Beatitudes, He gives us a model prayer…Our Father who art in Heaven, holy is Your name…that prayer…after that prayer he says this...
    Matthew 6:16–18 NKJV
    16 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
    When we read the words of Jesus we see that there is some expectation that we will fast, and here He tells us, when we do that, this is what it should look like.
    There’s also an interesting Old Testament passage concerning fasting found in the Book of Isaiah that we recently completed together. I want to read it with you in the New Living Translation as we will be using that some in our study later this morning. This is from Isaiah chapter 58
    Isaiah 58:1–4 NLT
    1 “Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast. Shout aloud! Don’t be timid. Tell my people Israel of their sins! 2 Yet they act so pious! They come to the Temple every day and seem delighted to learn all about me. They act like a righteous nation that would never abandon the laws of its God. They ask me to take action on their behalf, pretending they want to be near me. 3 ‘We have fasted before you!’ they say. ‘Why aren’t you impressed? We have been very hard on ourselves, and you don’t even notice it!’ “I will tell you why!” I respond. “It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves. Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers. 4 What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me.
    The Lord is saying He has no tolerance for a fast that has manipulative motives. Like by starving yourself you are somehow going to twist His arm into giving you want you want. He has no tolerance for a religious fast where you are going through the motions, but your conduct looks nothing like the kind of life Jesus has called us to. It goes on to say...
    Isaiah 58:5–8 NKJV
    5 Is it a fast that I have chosen, A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, And to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, And an acceptable day to the Lord? 6 Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
    Isaiah 58:9–11 NKJV
    9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ “If you take away the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, 10 If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday. 11 The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
    So my challenge and my encouragement to you as we approach this time together is that you would ask the Lord what this should look like for you. What kind of fast would be pleasing to Him. What occupies your time and steals attention away from Him in your life, and what would it look like to give those things up to spend that time with Him?
    For all of us the answer in one form or another is our flesh. That’s why doing a water fast, or giving up food and only drinking water effects us so dramatically, because we are greatly depriving our flesh, weakening our flesh, to strengthen our Spirit. So, I’m not going to direct what type of fast any of you should do, but I do encourage you to ask the Lord about it, to pray about it.
    OK, lot’s to talk about this morning, so lets pray and begin second Peter. Father in Heaven speak through Your Word, reveal Yourself to us this morning, in Jesus’ name amen.
    2 Peter 1:1–2 NKJV
    1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
    I want you to pick of on that word knowledge in our introduction, it is a point of emphasis for Peter throughout this letter. For good reason. If you remember his first letter was written to those of the dispersion and it listed several areas that are in what we now call Turkey. They were dispersed because of great persecution.
    This letter is written to the same audience, and by this introduction, I would say more of an expanded audience, but where that letter was to encourage them as they were experiencing persecution, this letter is a warning, not against those outside of the church attacking the church, but more of a warning against the wolves that had infiltrated and were a threat to the church from within.
    Notice how he begins...
    2 Peter 1:1 NKJV
    1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
    he was born Simon. He grew up Simon, he became a fisherman known as Simon, but there was a moment of time in his life that changed all that. The story is told in Matthew chapter 16. Jesus asks His disciples about what the crowd’s are saying about Him, who do men say that I am? He asked. There was a variety of answers, and then Jesus asked the Disciples themselves who they thought that he was, lets look at it...
    Matthew 16:15–18 NKJV
    15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
    Jesus changed his name! Simon was his birth name, but now Jesus gave him a new name, a Christian name.
    In 1 Peter, he wrote...
    1 Peter 1:1 NKJV
    1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
    But here it is 2 Peter 1:1
    2 Peter 1:1 NKJV
    1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
    It’s as if Peter is remembering where he came from. Maybe, like some of you, like the Apostle Paul, Peter struggled some with being who he was called to be, and slipped back at times to who he had always been. He goes on to say that he is both a bondservant and an apostle, but he starts with bondservant. A slave by choice. One who has no rights of his own, but has pledged his life to another. I wont take the time to turn there, but if you want to see a biblical example, you can write down Deuteronomy chapter 15 starting in verse 12 and read it another time.
    But with this statement Peter is saying all that I have, all that I am, belongs to Jesus, not by compulsion, but by choice, as response of love and gratitude, I am His. Also, an apostle. We should understand that when we hear the word apostle, or read it in the Scriptures, there are two basic definitions. In a very general sense we understand it to be “one who is sent out”. So someone that sets out with the Gospel of Jesus Christ into areas that have not heard or received the gospel. Witnessing to different lands, or different people groups. Today, we would call that type of apostle a missionary. In the NT testament we have several examples of people like Barnabas, Andronicus, Junia, Epaphroditus, and Apollos who functioned in that way, they spread the gospel and were referred to as apostles...But then there is the word Apostle in the sense that Peter is referring to himself as. The 12. Those that were His Disciples, that walked with Jesus AND were witnesses of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.
    So that would be the original 12, after Judas hung himself, they chose a replacement by the name of Matthias, and then Paul witnessed the resurrected on the road to Damascus and was accepted by the rest as an Apostle to the Gentiles. This is important for us to know, especially as we approach a Book that warns of wolves trying to enter the church. So by that definition, there are no Apostles today that meet the definition that Peter is talking about here. Yes, the bible talks about the church having apostles, and that is the sent out kind, in a sense all of us under the great commission, but in a more specific sense, missionaries, those sent out with the gospel.
    But there are no such apostles as Peter is describing himself to be today, because there is no one on the face of the earth that physically walked with Jesus during His earthly ministry and witnessed the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. That is important to know because there are those today that claim this title. Not just the title, but also Apostolic authority such as the biblical apostles had to write Scripture as a revelation from God. These modern day false apostles also claim to have authority over pastors and elders in the local church, and it is not biblical.
    So if someone claims the role of apostle today, I would caution you to find out a little bit more. Are they talking in a general sense, like they are a missionary, sent out with the gospel, or someone that you should break fellowship with for a variety of reasons.
    Peter goes on and he says two more important things here, I’m writing to those who have obtained a like precious faith, or a faith that is precious, just like the faith that I have. Peter is not professing to have some special kind of faith, or a faith that is any different or any greater than the faith that has been granted to us. And then an important theological truth here, as he states that Jesus is our Savior and that Jesus is in fact God. We have been given this faith by the righteousness of our God AND Savior, Jesus Christ.
    2 Peter 1:2 NKJV
    2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
    now before we go on to verse 3, I want to skip ahead and look at verses 8 and 9 because I think they show us how important the things to come are and how critical it is that we don’t miss this information. So verse 8
    2 Peter 1:8–9 NKJV
    8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
    It sounds kinda critical to me that we get these things, so lets see what he’s talking about....verse 3
    2 Peter 1:3 NKJV
    3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
    The NLT is a little easier to understand here so I want to look at that…verse 3 again...
    2 Peter 1:3 NLT
    3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.
    He begins to tell us here that God has already given us all that we need, we don’t have to wait, we don’t have to struggle, we don’t need to be subject to being deceived, we don’t have to worry about being seduced away by false doctrine, we have the truth of His Word, and the knowledge of Him personally.
    Verse 4
    2 Peter 1:4 NKJV
    4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
    We have all kinds of promises in this book, I’m not going to show you all of them this morning, but there are said to be over 30,000 promises contained in the Scriptures. And the difference between promises in here and promises you hear from mankind is that all of these are true. They are great and precious promises, here’s one that we can be partakers of the divine nature, now this is twisted by some modern day cults to teach that we can become little gods. That is not so, and it is not biblical, but we can have a new nature and when we receive that new nature we begin to take on His divine attributes…having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Remember our title this morning…You need not stumble. You need not stumble, you need not be seduced by false teachers or false doctrine.
    As we look at this this morning Peter gives us 3 ways to safeguard ourselves against false teaching in the church. I’ve got a list for you notetakers. 3 ways to safeguard against false teaching in the church.
    3 Ways to safeguard against false teaching
    Know God’s Word
    Apply God’s Word
    Abide in God’s Word and means knowing Him personally
    We know God’s Word by spending time in His Word, going through it and allowing it to go through us. It also reveals God to us. Reveals His heart to us. It is living and powerful. John tells us...
    John 1:1 NKJV
    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    That’s the Logos, it is talking about Jesus.
    How do we apply God’s Word in our lives? That’s what Peter gives us next. He lays out
    7 Characteristics of a Godly life...
    Self Control
    Brotherly Kindness
    In verse 5 he begins here...
    2 Peter 1:5 NKJV
    5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,
    Virtue describes a moral excellence, or behavior showing high moral standards…actually it’s more than just that, in includes courage to have or uphold moral excellence in the face of opposition.
    Knowledge let me help you with that one this morning, I will share some knowledge with you and if you don’t attend mine and Nicole’s growth group you are going to be at a severe disadvantage on this…is a coconut a fruit or a nut?
    I’ll tell you that it is not a nut. Despite having nut in the name it is not a nut, it is indeed a fruit, but not just any fruit. Does anyone know what kind of fruit? And this will be on your homework....It belongs to a special class of fruits known as Drupes...
    Drupes are defined as fruits that have an outer fleshy part that surrounds a single shell of hardened endocarp with a seed inside…they are usually developed from a single carpel, and mostly from flowers with superior ovaries…Let’s see more knowledge...
    Did you know that the mayfly holds the record for the shortest living life cycle on earth at only 24 hours?
    Or did you know that the quarter has 119 ridges along the outer edge and despite taking up 2.38 times as much space as a dime, it only has one more ridge than a dime? 119 vs 118 on a dime.
    Finally, on to cats! There is a whole bunch of things I’d like to teach you guys about cats, but time will not allow…but here is one. Did you know that cats have 32 muscles in each of their ears? I know who cares? But my question is are these the types of things that Peter is taking about when he instructs us to add knowledge to our virtue?
    No, in fact, he’s also not just talking about growing in a factual knowledge about God and the things of God. The word that he uses here over and over is the Greek word gnosis (go know cease) which is an experiential knowledge Peter is talking about growing in relationship with God and we personally get to know Jesus, by experiencing relationship with Him.
    Our safeguard against false teaching is to know the truth not just in our heads, but in our hearts. That by releationship with Him, He will transform our lives
    2 Peter 1:6 NKJV
    6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,
    Here we see self-control, one of the fruits of the Spirit. It is not a fruit of the flesh. It takes work, it takes discipline. Self control means we are not ruled by our flesh, lust does not drive us to do things we shouldn’t. Our flesh does not control us, but we are controlled by the spirit of God as bondservants to Him…these are all things we need to be working all the time. This is not the 50 year progression of the Christian life from birth to death. These are the characteristics of a Godly life that He has given us everything we need to live this Godly life now.
    SO that means being disciplined to be in the Word. TO be in fellowship, to serve in the local church, to give to the local church, to be devoted to prayer, to participate in corporate and private worship, all of those things contribute to self control.
    And to that perseverance…perseverance is not quitting. It is finishing the race, faithful endurance, even when it is hard. Even in trials, even in suffering it is holding fast, it’s what Pastor Jim talked to us about last week pressing on even when it’s tough. Even when it is against the culture, against the politics, even if it seems like we are in an ever shrinking minority. TO perseverance godliness, that simply means being like God. We can’t do that if we don’t know God, if we don’t know what He is like. He says be Holy for I am Holy. That doesn’t mean we don’t ever sin again, but we are every trying to be more like Him. Jesus says you are My friends if you do whatever I command You. We are to find out what those command are so our lives can look more like Jesus and less like Brian.
    The Bible says that we were made in His image, we are supposed to look like Him. Verse 7 says...
    2 Peter 1:7 NKJV
    7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
    brotherly kindness, now some of you that have brothers, might be confused by this a little bit…but the idea is that if we can be kind to each other, how are we going to love those in the world? The bible says how good and pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity.
    Jesus says…that is how the world will know you’re legit...
    John 13:35 NKJV
    35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
    SO we are to have the characteristic of brotherly kindness and to that we are to add love. Sadly, when we look back at church history from the earliest days to the modern day, these two things brotherly kindness and love, is not what the world has seen largely in the church. They have seen division, they have seen strife, they see countless denominations because we don’t want to be with these folks or those folks, because they don’t do things like we want them done, so lets divide.
    There are a lot of people out there that will tell you, you know what…my problem is not with Jesus, it’s with His people. I like Jesus, I just can’t stand Christians.
    The word that is used for love here is agape, that godly love, that unselfish love. The greatest form of love. The love that doesn’t look for anything in return that extends past those that love us, to the unlovable. This is the love that loves our enemies and prays for those that persecute us.
    Again, none of these are optional in the life of the Christian, they are not to be worked on over time, they are 7 characteristics of a Godly life they are all to be active and present and working in our lives at all times. And the result of putting them all to action? We already read it.
    2 Peter 1:8–9 NKJV
    8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
    This speaks to Abiding in God’s Word…abound in this things and be fruitful, if we are abiding in Jesus, we will bear this fruit, we will have the fruit of the Spirit. fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
    Jesus told us this was the way to identify these false teachers, look and see what kind of fruit they have in their lives.
    Matthew 7:15–16 NKJV
    15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
    We will wrap it up with this.
    2 Peter 1:10–11 NKJV
    10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
    You know religious people, even non-religious people can do a lot of good things…but these things that Peter talks about here…if you do these things you will never stumble, they are things that are matters of the heart. Things that occur in our lives as we pursue a deeper knowledge of Him. AND if we do as he says an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom, not that fire insurance Sean talked to us about. Making it in by the skin of our teeth smelling like smoke. Peter wants us to have an abundant entry into the kingdom by living fruitful lives, serving our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
    Pray with me...
    Grace and Peace
        • Matthew 17:20–21NKJV

        • Matthew 6:16–18NKJV

        • Isaiah 58:1–4NKJV

        • Isaiah 58:5–8NKJV

        • Isaiah 58:9–11NKJV

        • 2 Peter 1:1–2NKJV

        • 2 Peter 1:1NKJV

        • Matthew 16:15–18NKJV

        • 1 Peter 1:1NKJV

        • 2 Peter 1:1NKJV

        • 2 Peter 1:2NKJV

        • 2 Peter 1:8–9NKJV

        • 2 Peter 1:3NKJV

        • 2 Peter 1:3NKJV

        • 2 Peter 1:4NKJV

        • John 1:1NKJV

        • 2 Peter 1:5NKJV

        • 2 Peter 1:6NKJV

        • 2 Peter 1:7NKJV

        • John 13:35NKJV

        • 2 Peter 1:8–9NKJV

        • Matthew 7:15–16NKJV

        • 2 Peter 1:10–11NKJV